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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

From Mamata to Amit Shah, who said what on the govt’s stand to deport Rohingya refugees

The Rohingyas, Myanmar’s Muslim minority, are counted among the world’s most persecuted communities.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2017 17:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rohingya Muslim women, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stretch their arms out to collect sanitary products distributed by aid agencies near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh.
Rohingya Muslim women, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stretch their arms out to collect sanitary products distributed by aid agencies near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh.(AP Photo)

The government told the Supreme Court on Monday many Rohingya refugees had links with global terror outfits and allowing them to stay in India would pose a security threat to the country.

India is home to approximately 40,000 Rohingya refugees, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Rohingya, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

More than 75,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine region since August 25 and images show Rohingya villages burnt to the ground in a clash between government forces and armed militants.

From UN condemnation to politicians, here’s what has been said about the government’s stand on deporting Rohingyas:

United Nations

The UN high commissioner for human rights had last week criticised India for seeking to deport Rohingyas who fled to India.

Al Hussein said he deplored New Delhi’s measure to deport the refugees. “The minister of state for home affairs has reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, the country can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion,” he said.

“However, by virtue of customary law, its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the obligations of due process and the universal principle of non-refoulement, India cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return people to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations.”

Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister

Union minister Kiren Rijiju said last week branding India as a “villain” on the Rohingya refugee issue was a “calibrated design” to tarnish the country’s image.

“This chorus of branding India as villain on Rohingya issue is a calibrated design to tarnish India’s image,” the minister tweeted.

“It is a sensitive matter. Whatever government will do, will be in nation’s interest,” Rijiju told reporters on Monday.

He also requested international human rights bodies not to spread misinformation about India and said: “India is a sovereign country and protecting the nation is our duty.”

Amit Shah, BJP president

When questioned over the issue at a press conference on Saturday, BJP president Amit Shah said the government has made its stand clear before the Supreme Court and it is prepared to extend all help to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Mamata Banerjee, Bengal CM

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed support for the Rohingya and adopted a stance contrary to the position of the Narendra Modi government.

“We do support the @UN appeal to help the Rohingya people. We believe that all commoners are not terrorists. We are really concerned,” Banerjee tweeted last Friday.

Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM chief

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi cited the example of refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in India and berated the government over its decision to send the Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar.

“If Taslima Nasreen can stay here, why can’t Rohingyas? If Taslima can be the prime minister’s sister, can’t Rohingyas become his brothers?” Owaisi said, while addressing a gathering last week in Hyderabad.

First Published: Sep 18, 2017 15:55 IST

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